Mehbooba assures justice in Kathua rape and murder case

A file picture of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday promised to “deliver justice to the Kathua rape victim,” despite opposition from certain quarters.

“The law will not be obstructed by the irresponsible actions and statements of a group of people... investigations are on the fast track and justice will be delivered,” she tweeted. “We will never let another child suffer in this way. We will bring a new law that will make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors, so that (the) case becomes the last,” she added.

Former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah, however, took potshots at Ms. Mufti over two BJP Ministers, who joined protests in support of the accused and were at a rally demanding that the case be handed over to the CBI.

Responding to demands for a CBI probe, DGP S.P. Vaid said the State police were as competent as any investigating agency.

He said the police do not oppose a CBI probe but said that the police “that can take on terrorists and stone-pelters, could do its job of investigation also very well.”

He also rejected as “misconception” claims that the Crime Branch (CB) team probing the matter had no member from the Jammu region. He said both the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the CB had “officers from all the regions”. “Even senior officers from Jammu were part of it...We don’t work as per religious affiliations. We are just police officers,” said the DGP.

Scientific evidence

The Crime Branch has revealed that forensic matching techniques were used to piece together the evidence against the eight accused in the case. Medical evidence has established that the victim was kept without food and administered sedatives. “Cause of death was asphyxia leading to cardio-pulmonary arrest,” the CB said.

The investigators performed potency tests on the accused, sent blood-stained sticks and hair strands recovered from Devisthan temple, where the girl was kept for seven days.

A forensic lab in Delhi had matched the hair with the DNA profile of the victim. “Two accused had destroyed the evidence by washing the clothes of the deceased. However, the Forensic Science Lab in Delhi with updated technology confirmed the presence of blood stains on the frock-shalwar of the victim, which matched with the DNA profile of the victim,” the charge sheet said.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 5:01:50 PM |

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